Horror Novels You Should Read

For a time, Hollywood became obsessed in producing horror films that range from the low-budget B movies to English adaptations of foreign horror films. But why stick to movies when there are so much more to explore in books?

Here are ten novels you should read as an introduction to the horror.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This debut novel of the author is a great introduction to what is known as ergodic literature, which requires the reader to piece together the story by reading through text not written in order. Johnny Truant is interested in an apartment where a man named Zampano recently died. In the apartment, he saw a manuscript written by the deceased about the The Navidson Record.

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

This story has been adapted numerous times in films and books. If you haven’t read the original, then you should. Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious scientist creates a hideous creature. At the end of the story, you’d find yourself asking is the monster the creature or his creator?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Like Frankenstein, this one of the most famous classics in the genre and inspired many adaptations. Count Dracula is trying to move to England to spread the curse. However he finds himself being opposed by Abraham Van Helsing.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The story is set in an old mansion called Hill House. One of the four lead characters wants to find evidence of supernatural events so he rented the house and invited some people to stay.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

You may have heard the title from the famous movie adaptation of this novel. It tells of the exorcism of the possessed Regan MacNeil by two priests. What makes the book special is that it was inspired by a documented demonic possession thirty years before it was published.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The story is told from five different characters of the Chowder Society. They share ghost stories as part of their activity. It was all fun until one of the men die. The novel is considered Straub’s best work.

The Amityville Horror: A True Story by Jay Anson

The book has inspired a movie series of the same title. Its basis is the story of the Lutz family who experienced paranormal activities since they moved in the Amityville neighborhood.

Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

A multi-awarded novel, Carrion Comfort spans across timelines chronicling the people with psychic powers called The Ability. They are able to control others from a distance and have influenced history.

The Cipher by Kathe Koja

Considered the best example of body horror, The Cipher is not for the faint-hearted. Nakota and Nicholas find a hole in a storage room and soon experimented with it. They called in the Funhole.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We is considered the grandfather of dystopian novels and has inspired many subsequent novels of the genre. In the totalitarian One State, its residents are identified by numbers and are governed by formulas.

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